Integral to the success of Credit Acceptance Corporation's services is delivering timely responses to dealerships and their customers to help enhance the car-buying experience and streamline repayment solutions. It's this commitment to outstanding service that stretched the IT infrastructure to capacity, creating risks of service outages and delayed response times.
Since 1972, Credit Acceptance Corporation (CACC) of Southfield, Michigan has been working with automobile dealerships across the United States to help buyers finance the cars they wanted. As one of the leading specialty automotive credit agencies in the United States, the company's patented Credit Approval Processing System (CAPS) has enabled dealerships to deliver credit approvals to over 7,000,000 consumers within 30 seconds, 24/7, regardless of credit history.
We work with a nationwide network of dealers to extend financing to their consumers who may not otherwise qualify for traditional financing, says Rael Mussell, Vice President of IT Support for CAC. When approved by a participating dealer, consumers can begin to change their lives by making on-time payments, an important step in improving their credit standing.
The IT Infrastructure at Credit Acceptance Corporation is 100% virtualized using VMWare and has, over time, become a complex one. This included over 180 IT staff managing systems and networks, developing applications and providing support. Before deploying vCommander, Credit Acceptance had a 100% manual process to provision virtual machines, said Mike Hurst, Senior Manager, Data Center Services.
A team of five to six people across multiple teams would be involved in a single request. An IP address had to be obtained from the network team, an operating system had to be requested from the server team, the VMware team would be involved to see where the virtual machine would be placed. All of this manual work could take several days to get a system provisioned. We were, in effect, trying to move faster than the business processes would allow.
The team at Credit Acceptance knew they had to improve the time to automatically provision resources and provide a fully integrated self-service portal. "We started looking at products to achieve this goal, but found them both extremely complex and expensive," continued Mussell. "We were looking for something that we could plug and play."
Regardless of the solution chosen, Mussell and his team were expecting the implementation to take some time. The alternative solutions we looked at would take several months and possibly up to a year to completely bake in our requirements and use cases, and would also require a professional services engagement.
"We thought Embotics would be of the same order of magnitude" said Hurst. "I was quietly surprised that vCommander only took two weeks to get off the ground, and with only myself and one other resource on our side, and just our designated solution architect on the Embotics side, there was no need for any professional services engagement. Within two weeks, we had a fully provisioned Windows and Linux server complete with networking, storage and everything that went along with it. It was not only a more cost-effective option but also gave us a faster time to market."
"Since implementing vCommander, there is no longer a need to involve the network, storage or VMware staff to provision resources. A single administrator requests the service, and that service is automatically deployed. Our developers were requesting new resources every day of the week. We just couldn't facilitate that with the team and processes that were in place. But now with vCommander, we are able to do this." Said Mussell, ?I don?t have to have one person solely responsible for creating VMs anymore? I put that back on the developers. I have them request that resource, and it?s automatically deployed when they request it. What took five people in different teams up to three days can now be achieved in under 10 minutes using vCommander."
Credit Acceptance found the vCommander interface intuitive to use. Tabs and forms that can be configured to suit the needs of the customer make it easy to understand where you are in the process.
"Creating a workflow is very straightforward, with a wizard that takes you through each step using drop-down lists and pick-lists for the various options and available parameters. You don't need to be script-savvy to use the tool, said Hurst. If I had questions, or wanted to do something a certain way, I could call one person at Embotics who would understand what I was looking for, and not only understand it, but could also get me a resolution in just a few hours, and sometimes within minutes or on the same call. The experience with Embotics as a partner has been a great experience" says Mussell. "The fact that I can call senior executives and have the roadmap laid out, as well as having our input taken into account, has been the basis of a great relationship. The open-door policy has meant that not only that I can call them, but that they reach out to me to understand what we're doing and what our needs are. That understanding of a customers needs, and taking the time to actively seek input and to listen, is key to any successful partnership."
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